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Hostages killed in Paris store siege

UPDATE: Gunman killed as police launch assault on kosher store in east Paris, but four hostages have also died

FOUR hostages and a gunman died during the siege at a kosher food store in Paris that ended in a dramatic raid at about 5.15pm today.

Two policemen were also injured when officers from the elite anti-terror unit stormed the store, in co-ordination with the raid on the building near Charles de Gaulle airport where the Charlie Hebdo suspects were hiding out.

Shortly afterwards, a large number of ambulances arrived at the scene.

BFMTV has released a tape of a conversation with chief suspect Amedy Coulibaly made during the siege, in which he confirmed he had killed four of his 16 hostages.

Coulibaly also died when police entered the building.

Like Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouati, he also said he had been "sent by al-Qaida in Yemen". And he also revealed that he had selected the store "because it was Jewish".

Police had shut down communications in the area shortly before launching the raid.

The heavily armed Coulibaly had earlier threatened to kill his hostages if police launched any operation against the Charlie Hebdo suspects.

Meanwhile, confusion surrounds the whereabouts of an accomplice, Hayat Boumeddiene, who was earlier thought to be at the scene.

Reports suggest a second hostage taker at the scene was not Ms Boumeddiene but a man who may have managed to escape in the confusion.

The second hostage situation began in a hail of gunfire at about 1pm.

It is believed that Coulibaly was the gunman who shot dead a female police officer yesterday.

The 25-year-old officer was shot in the back and killed as she went to investigate an early morning traffic accident. A street cleaner was also wounded.

The police officer's killer, who was said to be wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an automatic rifle, fled the scene in the Montrouge area of the city.

Coulibaly is said to be a known associate of one of the Kouachi brothers. Police later connected the attack to the atrocity at the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday.

Another reported incident earlier this afternoon, at the Trocadero, in the heart of the city turned out to be a false alarm.

Photo: Harry Fear / Twitter

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